Monday, 29 November 2010

IT helps greener travel in France

image GreenIT.fr has recently reported on a couple of interesting green IT-based travel initiatives in France:
www.vadrouille covoiturage.com is a long distance car pooling service for people going away for weekends or holidays. The web site enables potential passengers to book and pay for a seat with drivers who are going to the same place. (It sounds a bit like Shiply.com, the UK equivalent for goods).
It’s the online booking and payment that are expected to make the process easier and more reliable – apparently the main problem with this sort of carpooling is people changing their minds at the last minute. The online payment will, hopefully, concentrate minds.
Prices are set by the driver and the passenger pays via the online secure system. Within seven days after the journey the passenger confirms the trip was as promised and assesses the driver. The driver is paid the ticket price less the commission for using the service.
• Rapides Val de Loire (RVL), a French bus company, has equipped 25 of its buses with an 'eco-driving’ system. It’s based on technology designed by Viveris Technologies known as FMS ECO.
The system analysis driving behaviour in real time, including acceleration, braking, engine speed, etc, and gives feedback to the driver on eco-driving performance. Apparently, when a specific warning light comes on the driver must change gear and if they don’t an alarm sounds.  The only way to disable the alarm is to drive more smoothly.
A total of 50 buses will be fitted between 2011 and 2012 at a cost is 750 euros per vehicle, but the bus company expects to reduce annual fuel consumption by 5 - 10%, as well as helping to save the environment.

They both sound like good initiatives, although I would be concerned about alarms going off that force drivers to drive differently! Maybe something was lost in translation.

© The Green IT Review

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